Baked Falafel Salad + Tahini Cucumber Dressing (GF, DF)

After a week of pondering a new salad, I came up with this one.  I've probably mentioned this but every sunday Cameron and I do a big round of batch cooking, making everything we're going to eat for the week.  Always it's at least a big salad, homemade dressing, a soup, curried cauliflower and a breakfast option.

I have about 5 salads that I rotate through but really wanted to add a new one.  I'm pretty excited about this one.  It's a clean, healthy, vegetable filled salad with falafel.  The falafel are baked but still crispy outside with a creamy, flavorful middle.  The dressing is adapted from Detoxinista and I think I would eat pretty much anything with this dressing on it.  There's a lot of flavor in this salad bowl - I hope you enjoy!

About 6 servings. 

Baked Falafel Salad

for the falafel

2 tins chickpeas, rinsed, drained

1 1/4 cup diced red onion

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves

1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves

1 tablespoon olive oil

juice of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon cumin

1 teaspoon coriander

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon coarse salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

for the tahini dressing

1 cup chopped cucumber

1/4 cup tahini

1/4 cup water

1 clove garlic

juice of 1 lemon

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon coarse salt

for the salad

spinach leaves

shredded cabbage

shredded carrots

olives

chopped parsley and cilantro leaves

pickled red onion 

sliced cucumber

Falafels: Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Place a baking tray on the middle rack. 

Place chickpeas, onion, garlic, cilantro, parsley, oil, lemon juice, cumin, coriander, paprika, salt and baking soda in the bowl of a food processor fitted with an S blade.  Pulse until it smoother but still chunky.  It should look like minced onions and chickpeas held together with hummus.  

Remove hot tray from oven and brush liberally with a high heat oil.  Use a tablespoon to portion falafels.  Form thin, patties.  You want more surface area.  This results in a crispier falafel.

Bake 20 minutes.  Carefully flip patties.  They should be browned on the bottom before flipping.  If they come apart, press them back together.  Back another 20-30 minutes or until both sides are browned.  Remove from oven and cool.  

Tahini Dressing: Blend cucumber, tahini, water, garlic, lemon, cumin and salt in a blender until smooth.  

Assemble salads with spinach, shredded cabbage, shredded carrots, olives, pickled onions, chopped herbs, falafel patties and dressing.